The Long-Forgotten Orkut

Back in the time, when I was 18 or 19 years old, I was introduced to a social networking site called Orkut. It was the time before social media took over our lives, and before everything from ‘what we ate for breakfast’ to ‘a boring day at school’ had to be documented in detail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there was something that was synonymous to one portal-Orkut. Most of the new generations still don’t know about this site. But today, like the Facebook is growing or Instagram, Orkut had become a community of over 300 million people.

It was named after its founder, Orkut Buyukkokten. Launched in the year 2004, Orkut came into being with merely 30 engineers and designers in the team.

It was such an amazing adventure to me. It was introduced to me by my school friends. I met some amazing people and even some ‘mailay’ people over there. Amazing were the ones from my school with whom I didn’t get chance to talk to them in personal and mailay were the ones with whom you come across on these sites asking you to ‘Frandship’.

Seriously, the trend of these ‘frandship people’ had started from here. People sending random friend requests to all the beautiful and cute profile pictures and $M@rT and ‘kewL’ people. Yes! They had their profiles by these names. But some freaks of Orkut even went on dates and got married, found new jobs and so many friends.

For me, it was something new then. Putting up half a picture there because of privacy issues and ‘maila’ people, getting your testimonials written by all your friends because it’d give a look of cool dude to your profile, having a large number of scraps only for the cool dude purpose. I was such a ‘wanna be’ at that time. But I’d say everyone there was like that. The funny thing about testimonial was I spent days nagging my friends to submit a testimonial for me. It was such a joy in receiving one.

One thing that used to excite me out was ‘Recent Visitors’ feature. It was the true metric of your popularity. We could see who visited our profile and it left all the stalkers panic about sneaking others account. It was an excellent way of tracking stalkers. Well, it had the option of turning off that feature but it meant you couldn’t see your visitors too.

‘Do u remember me?’ Familiar with this style? Even before smart phones occupied school grammar, Orkut was the mother of all social media sites for poor grammar.

Who can forget that ‘crush notifier’ feature? In the era where online dating had just started to bloom, this feature was a godsend. If you had a crush on someone, Orkut gave you the unique feature of adding them to your crush list. And if your crush by any chance had a crush on you too, then you both would get a message by Orkut.

You could personalize your page to look just how you wanted it to. And the glitter graphics. I used to get so many glitter graphics on my birthday or any festive occasion.

For many of us, it was difficult to imagine its death. The important thing was it was launched in the same year 2004, when facebook was founded. And I never had the slightest idea of Facebook at that time. Time really doesn’t remain same. In 2010, Facebook overtook Orkut as the top social networking site. And still, it is continuously growing. But let’s see when the ‘maili awam’ like orkut spread over here and buzz us off with the ‘frandship’ requests. Till then, happy networking!

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